28 September, 2006
NZ to co-sponsor UN arms trade resolution
New Zealand will co-sponsor a new United Nations resolution led by the United Kingdom, backing the establishment of a treaty to regulate trading in conventional arms, Disarmament and Arms Control Minister Phil Goff said today.
"Our co-sponsorship of this new resolution underlines the importance we attach to advancing the concept of an arms trade treaty at the international level, and our commitment to it.
"We believe that there is a growing level of support for a legally binding instrument that regulates the trade in conventional weapons," Mr Goff said.
The draft resolution aims to clear the way for experts to begin examining the feasibility of an arms trade treaty.
"The UN resolution would be an important step for those of us who want to see the development of tighter controls to prevent these weapons from falling into the wrong hands," Mr Goff said.
"Conventional arms are used every day in conflicts around the world, exacting large-scale suffering – taking hundreds of thousands lives a year – and violating human rights and international humanitarian law.
"Negotiating an arms treaty is an ambitious process. It will not become a reality until those countries opposing it can be persuaded that the treaty is critical, both for humanitarian reasons, and to achieving greater stability and security in the world.
"Winning support for this resolution is an important move forward in this direction," Mr Goff said.